Lockheed Martin-Owego May Be Affected By Budget Cuts
Looming federal budget cuts could have an impact on Lockheed Martin's Tioga County operation.
The local effects of automatic spending reductions that may be implemented starting March 1 are uncertain.
A spokesman at the Owego Lockheed plant was not available to discuss the situation Thursday afternoon.
Congressman Tom Reed, whose newly-drawn district now includes the Lockeed facility, said "there is a potential" for the site to be affected as the cuts go into effect.
Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program Thursday morning, the Corning Republican said it's still not clear what the impact will be on specific defense contractors and on individual programs.
Reed said Pentagon officials have "kind of sat on their hands" over the past several months and not provided lawmakers with a plan indicating how they intend to implement the cuts.
The congressman said after President Obama repeatedly indicated the cuts would not happen, Pentagon officials apparently weren't doing much to prepare for the eventuality.
Reed said now that the deadline is near and it appears the cuts will go into effect, Pentagon officials are "scrambling to figure out what to do about it."
Reed said that's a "reflection on the lack of leadership coming out of the White House."
The congressman said the president "continued going down this blind path of thinking it wasn't going to happen."
Reed said it now appears unlikely an agreement will be reached to prevent the scheduled implementation of budget cuts.
Reed said because the nation's fiscal mess is a "spending-driven problem," he "wholeheartedly" agrees that cuts are necessary.